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Rock Band Road Crew Member Spotlight: PMS Lammy

Happy Holidays Roadies!

While you're winding down from gift giving, egg-nogging, and caroling, we're chatting with another cheerful member of our prestigious Road Crew. This week we sat down with the one and only Voxtar superstar, PMS Lammy. Since 'tis the season, we took a chunk of the interview to have Lammy walk us through her tried and true tips for throwing a fundraising event.

Let's get to it - and remember, if you want to nominate a Road Crew member for a Spotlight feature, tweet to us [@RockBand][2].

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Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Erin but online, people know me as Lammy. I'm currently a video game designer, but I've been a Rock Band fanatic for much longer than that.

Where can we find you on the interwebs? I go by the name pmslammy on most channels:

What’s your preferred Rock Band instrument?

I love playing Vocals & Guitar/Bass at the same time, but recently I've been getting out from behind the guitar and developing my front(wo)man chops more!

Do you remember the first time you played a music game?

My introduction to rhythm games was a quirky Playstation title by the name of Um Jammer Lammy. The main character in that game is a sheep named Lammy who's shy and insecure in everyday life but becomes a confident, capable rock star when she has her guitar. My online handle is a nod to her.

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What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened while you were playing Rock Band?

Back in early 2008 I started making YouTube videos of my Rock Band gameplay. Later that year, I moved to Seattle, and the first time I went to the local grocery store here, the cashier looked at me and said "This might be a weird question, but do you happen to make Rock Band videos on YouTube?" The fact that a random person actually recognized me from the internet completely blew my mind. It's happened a few times since then, usually at gaming events, and it's still surreal to me every time, but I'll never forget that first time.

Favorite Road Crew moment so far/any interesting plans for the future?

My favorite part of the Road Crew is that it's allowed me to connect to people all over who are as passionate about Rock Band as I am! In particular, the Road Crew program has introduced me to a bunch of local Rock Band enthusiasts and we now get together to play, do Road Crew gigs, and stream harmonies or full band together on a regular basis. Special shoutout to the Seattle Rock Band Group for getting me out there on a public stage every week and encouraging me to live out my rock and roll fantasies.

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What’s your greatest Rock Band related accomplishment?

I've done 4 charity fundraisers that have incorporated Rock Band in a major way. In 2011 I ran my first marathon and immediately followed it up with a marathon of Rock Band to benefit Child's Play. Then for the past 3 years I've been doing Extra Life, with coworkers and friends, to raise money for Seattle Children's Hospital. For Extra Life 2013 I actually sang in Rock Band for 26.2 hours and managed to pace myself well enough that I didn't completely lose my voice by the end. This year I joined up with friends and fellow Road Crew members from the Seattle Rock Band Group and we raised over $2000 collectively for Children's Miracle Network hospitals.

What are your tips for hosting a successful charity event or stream?

Here are some tips for running a successful Rock Band charity event stream, be it Extra Life or anything else:

  • Get the word out there in every way you can, including more "traditional" methods. Facebook, Twitter, and other social media are great for getting a broader audience, but don't forget to email or even just talk to people you know in person. In my experience, the people who are most likely to donate will be your friends and family who want to support you.

  • Set a fundraising goal and make it a little ambitious! Donors will feel more satisfied if they see the needle move as a result of their contributions.

  • Make it as easy as possible for people to donate. Use text overlays on your stream to say what charity you're supporting. Add a prominent donation button or link to the page if you can. If you have a chatbot, use it to help promote the donation link.

  • Offer a little something to your donors to express your appreciation, however you can. Some of the big charity streams give out prizes, but if that's not something you can do, be creative. For example, you could let donors requests songs or pick what instrument you play. Maybe you'd be willing to do 20 pushups for every $100 you raise, or take a pie to the face during the livestream if you hit your goal. Find something that works for you and run with it!

  • Make the stream as good for your audience as you can. Test your setup beforehand so you know it will look and sound good. Engage with your viewers: Check in with the chat frequently, give shoutouts, and remind them why you're streaming every so often. If you're comfortable and have the means, use a webcam to show yourself in addition to the gameplay. People feel much more connected to you if they can see you.

  • Don't be afraid to ask for help. If your friends and family can't donate, maybe they can bring you food, help you moderate the chat, or just keep you company and play with you.

  • Finally, take care of yourself and don't forget to enjoy the moment! You're doing something you love for a great cause, and that is awesome!

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That's a lot of good stuff! Thanks Lammy. Speaking of taking caring of yourself, what do you do when you're not Rock Band-ing?

Another of my major hobbies is distance running and it's actually kind of remarkable how many training tips for running are the same as the ones for singing: the importance of warmups and cooldowns, diaphragm breathing technique, strong core support, proper hydration and diet, practicing for both intensity and endurance, the ability to pace yourself. So perhaps it should come as no surprise that I enjoy doing marathons of both types!

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